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Group Politics in UN Multilateralism provides a new perspective on diplomacy and negotiations at the United Nations. Very few states ‘act individually’ at the UN; instead they often work within groups such as the Africa Group, the European Union or the Arab League. States use groups to put forward principled positions in an attempt to influence a wider audience and thus legitimize desired outcomes. Yet the volume also shows that groups are not static: new groups emerge in multilateral negotiations on issues such as climate, security and human rights. At any given moment, UN multilateralism is shaped by long-standing group dynamics as well as shifting, ad-hoc groupings. These intergroup dynamics are key to understanding diplomatic practice at the UN.
Clan societies differ substantially from Western democratic states. Clan societies are based around the extended family. Honour and solidarity are important, which is reflected in nepotism and blood revenge. However, a more positive aspect of clan societies is the use of reconciliation to solve conflicts. This guarantees that parties to a conflict can cooperate in the future. When intervening in a clan based society it is important to be aware of the differences compared to Western democracy. Based on theory and practice the cases of Afghanistan, Iraq, Albania and Chechnya are investigated. This book explains clan society and provides tools to facilitate state building and democratization in clan based societies for those who intervene, aimed at conflict resolution and democratization.

Summary

Diplomacy is defined as implementation of foreign policy through communication, and the ministry of foreign affairs (MFA) is the chief implementer and communicator. This article challenges the conventional definition and argues that diplomacy is relational practice in the first place. The anchoring practice of diplomacy is to make, manage and build up relations. The MFA, therefore, is the pivotal relator who, to maintain a cooperative relationship, needs to follow two principles, both inspired by ancient Chinese philosophical thinking. The first is ‘the Confucian improvement’, meaning that improvement of self-interest is possible if and only if other-interest is simultaneously improved, and the second, ‘the Mencian optimality’, holding that self-interest is best realised if and only if a community maintains optimally harmonious relations among its members. The MFA is a good implementer and communicator only if it is able to manage well complex relations in international society.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy

Summary

As a small, open, advanced economy, Denmark has a lot at stake in the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, the speed of emerging technologies and massive influence of multinational tech companies challenge traditional governance structures and diplomatic services around the world, creating a ‘diplomatic deficit’. That is why Denmark became the first country to appoint a Tech Ambassador and elevate technological trends to a foreign and security policy priority in mid-2017. This practitioner’s piece lays out the underlying reasoning behind engaging with the tech industry, the first-hand experiences from the initiative and some hard-won lessons before turning to the future perspectives. TechPlomacy is a political initiative with a global mandate to represent the Danish government vis-à-vis the tech industry with offices in Copenhagen, Silicon Valley and Beijing. The authors argue for new forms of coalition building engaging industry, governments and institutions in addressing the opportunities and risks of technology.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
No Country for Migrants? Critical Perspectives on Asylum, Immigration, and Integration in Germany aims to critically contribute to ongoing debates about immigration, integration, and xenophobia in Germany. Set against the backdrop of Germany’s controversial political decision to open its borders to refugees in 2015, the book realigns this watershed with the broader historical narratives of migration to explain its exceptionality both as an event and transformative force on the migration/integration discourse. The book further uses critical theories to make sense of the shifting socio-political coordinates of Germany. It addresses the history of Germany’s migration policies, its soft and hard power in migration control, language and societal integration, immigration and the revival of right-wing extremism, as well as religion and immigration.

This article explores the diplomatic contestations over children’s rights in connection to the International Year of the Child (iyc) of 1979. At the time, the Year was celebrated as an outstanding success, an event which helped to heighten social and political awareness of the status of children in both developing and industrialized countries, and which brought to light a plethora of new global issues, including street children, children with disabilities and children in armed conflict. Today, the iyc is frequently reduced to a plotting point in histories charting the rise of an international discourse of children’s rights, a discourse that is intimately linked to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989. This article shows how the concept of children’s rights was of peripheral importance to the overarching purposes of the iyc, which instead revolved around a notion of child welfare as integral to wider projects of social and economic development, either in the form of economic sovereignty or basic needs. The article then revisits the 1978–1979 UN debates on a human rights treaty for children, showing how this project initially garnered minimal support among states, international agencies and non-state actors. The article thus takes issue with teleological accounts that see the iyc primarily as a first step toward the subsequent breakthrough of children’s human rights. It also showcases how historical case studies of UN observances can be fruitful for scholars interested in the clashes and amalgamations of competing concepts and projects at an international level.

In: Diplomatica
In: Diplomatica